Public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Image: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

The Carbon Neutral Government Programme will require public sector agencies to measure and publicly report on their emissions and to offset any they can’t cut by 2025.

The programme is backed by the $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund that will finance the replacement of public sector coal boilers, with the largest and most active the immediate focus, and support the immediate purchase of electric or hybrid vehicles to start replacing the Government’s petrol car fleet.

“Requiring the public sector to be carbon neutral within 5 year highlights the Government’s commitment to leadership on climate change and the urgency of the action required,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Government agencies will have to measure and reduce their emissions and offset what they can’t in order to achieve carbon neutrality. It’s an important step forward in our plan for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“The public sector needs to be and will be an exemplar that sets the standard we all need to achieve by 2050.

“This policy, alongside today’s declaration of a climate emergency, serves as a message to the public sector to get our own house in order. It’s also a call to action for the private sector and it’s great to see so many examples of businesses taking steps to reduce their emissions.

“Action on climate change is a priority for the Labour Government and is an integral part of our Covid recovery plan. We need to seize the advantages of a climate focused recovery and the economic prosperity such a strategy offers.”

Minister of Climate Change James Shaw says that achieving carbon neutrality across the public sector by 2025 will build on the progress the Government made over the last three years to transition New Zealand to net-zero carbon emissions.

“According to the world’s leading scientists we have just over nine years left to cut carbon emissions in half. This new initiative shows that the Government is equal to the challenge ahead.

“In our first term, we put in place one of the world’s most ambitious frameworks for reducing emissions, including becoming one of the only countries in the world to put in place a legally binding requirement to stay within the threshold of 1.5 degrees of global warming above pre-industrial levels.

“Now we intend to lead by example by measuring and reporting emissions across Government, upgrading to cleaner sources of energy, cutting emissions from transport, and improving the efficiency of our buildings.”

Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash says government agencies are able to exert strong influence through their spending on vehicles, office space and other supply contracts such as heating and lighting.

“The procurement practices of public service agencies have the power to influence decisions by the private and community sectors when it comes to carbon-neutral and low-emission technologies. We intend to use all the levers at our disposal to help reach our goals.

“In our first term we focused on the charging infrastructure necessary to support the uptake of electric vehicles. There are nearly 16,000 vehicles in the government fleet and more than 200 coal-fired boilers currently heating water and buildings in the State Sector. So there is room for improvement.

Nash, who is also Minister of Forestry, says greater use of lower emissions building materials in new buildings can also be incentivised through the public service showing leadership.

“One of New Zealand’s greatest natural resources is our renewable forest plantations and use of timber can help achieve higher energy efficiency ratings for new builds.”

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Posted on 04-12-2020 13:43 | By morepork

That’s an interesting statistic; can you give us the source? Reducing populations is not the ONLY way; if the nations of the World (including China) could engage to address the problem without sulkers like Trump walking out, and genuinely being prepared to fix it, I believe it could be fixed. I remember people saying in the 1960s that we’d be unable to feed the world population by 2000. (I know there are hungry people but the problem is with distribution, not with production...) Humans can achieve amazing things when they work together; not so much when they don’t.


Posted on 03-12-2020 19:24 | By

..... China produces more Carbon emissions in 9 hours than NZ makes in an entire year. The only real way to significantly reduce Carbon emissions and climate change effectively is to reduce the population of the humans on the planet - which China pioneered with their 1 child policy

Is it viable?

Posted on 03-12-2020 12:36 | By morepork

Apparently they think so. It is certainly worth trying for.

@Mein Fuhrer

Posted on 03-12-2020 12:35 | By morepork

What if you are wrong and there actually IS a climate crisis? You would be the first to rage at the Government for having done nothing about it. Even leaving aside the mounting scientific evidence that says we are on a knife edge, isn’t it better to have done something than to have done nothing? Any "fuhrer" worth his bratwurst should have the common sense to see that...

OMG the anti carbon loonies

Posted on 02-12-2020 22:59 | By Mein Fuhrer

And their moronic ideas. Another scam to tax (rob) us poor "useless cattle" of more of our hard earned shekkles through carbon footprint laws. There is no climate emergency, however there is one hell of a common sense emergency in Parliament.


Posted on 02-12-2020 21:10 | By

OUR Leader Must be dreaming 2025 HAHA